Friday, September 03, 2010

Discussion: The Joy of Rereading

I used to reread books when I was younger more often than I do now. Part of this is because I don't have as much free time for reading at all, so when I do, I attempt to conquer the Mount Everest of unread books stacked in my office. I like to fantasize that someday when I'm retired, I'll be able to reread some of my favorite books I have in my collection, but the truth is I'm more likely to die before I run out of new books to read. Some of the stories I have managed to reread (when I bought new editions) are The Jungle Book and the Sherlock Holmes stories.

When I got my Kindle last week, I discovered that there were a lot of free books for the Kindle--mostly older books that were in the public domain. I took the opportunity to download some classics I've read before. So far, I've reread A Little Princess and The Swiss Family Robinson. I preferred the first one over the second, as it was more of a story. Reading older books shows how much writing styles have changed over the years. Telling and moralizing have become less popular.

Another favorite book I downloaded was Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I still have my beloved purplish paperback, with lots of underlining and comments. (It's probably the book I've written in the most, even including my textbooks.) I haven't reread this for several years, and given that I now work in Quality Control, it should be interesting to see what I get out of this book this time. I'm looking forward to having this book with me wherever I go and sharing favorite passages on Facebook. I'm also considering buying a Kindle version of Connie Willis's To Say Nothing of the Dog so I can have it in my permanent collection (even though I have it in paperback) and have an excuse to reread it.

Do you read books just once or several times? What are your favorite books to reread? What is it that draws you to them again and again? If you have an e-reader, has that changed your reading/rereading habits?

Enjoy the Labor Day weekend, everyone!


Ted Cross said...

I don't have an eReader and have no plans to get one.

I reread all the time. I mix it up by reading two or three new books in a row and then rereading some of my old favorites. Right now I am in the new book phase.

Josh said...

Rereading for me is tricky, because unless it's been quite a few years, I tend to recall plots and characters rather vividly. When I read, I love rediscovering things I enjoyed the first time, or uncovering details I missed. But if I can glance at a book and skim through the plot in my head, it doesn't have as much draw until the impact of the original experience has faded some.

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Barbara Ann Wright said...

I'm embarrassed to say that most of the time, I forget I have a Kindle because of how many paper books I still haven't read.

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